JOHN COLTRANE A LOVE SUPREME (DE LUXE EDITION)
Original album Recorded:9 December 1964 Original Release Date: Feb 1965
Remastered: Deluxe Edition: Released 2002
The quartet recorded the album in one session on December 9, 1964 at the Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. The album is a four-part suite, broken up into tracks: "Acknowledgement" (which contains the famous mantra that gave the suite its name), "Resolution", "Pursuance", and "Psalm." It is intended to be a spiritual album, broadly representative of a personal struggle for purity, and expresses the artist's deep gratitude as he admits to his talent and instrument as being owned not by him but by a spiritual higher power
The album begins with the bang of a gong, followed by cymbal washes. Garrison follows on bass with the four-note motif which structures the entire movement. Coltrane’s solo follows. Besides soloing upon variations of the motif, at one point Coltrane repeats the four notes over and over in different modulations. After many repetitions, the motif becomes the vocal chant “A Love Supreme,” sung by Coltrane (accompanying himself via overdubs).In the final movement, Coltrane performs what he calls a "musical narration" (Lewis Porter describes it as a "wordless 'recitation'") of a devotional poem he included in the liner notes. That is, Coltrane “plays” the words of the poem, but does not actually speak them. Some scholars have suggested that this performance is a homage to the sermons of African-American preachers. The poem (and, in his own way, Coltrane’s solo) ends with the cry “Elation. Elegance. Exaltation. All from God. Thank you God. Amen.”
Coltrane's home in the Dix Hills neighborhood of Huntington, New York has been suggested as the site of inspiration for A Love Supreme. [notes from wiki]
The alternative version of "Acknowledgement" was recorded the next day on December 10 1964. This version, which included tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp and bassist Art Davis, did not feature Coltrane chanting “a love supreme,” one reason he chose to issue the quartet version. The only known live performance of the Love Supreme suite, from a July 26, 1965 performance at the Festival Mondial du Jazz Antibes, Juan-les-Pins, France. Both remastered and released in a this 2-CD set by Impulse! Records with the original album and additional studio outtakes. This performance was considerably more dissonant than the studio version, and features an extended drum solo preceding “Pursuance’s” bass solo [notes from wiki]
John Coltrane – tenor saxophone, bandleader Jimmy Garrison – double bass
Elvin Jones – drums McCoy Tyner – piano
Art Davis – double bass on alternate takes of "Acknowledgment"
Archie Shepp – tenor saxophone on alternate takes of "Acknowledgment"